Chapter Six redux

In the past week I’ve managed to complete the rewrite of Chapter Six of The Sleep of Reason. I finally feel like I’m building momentum again on writing this story. Since I lost two chapters when my hard drive crashed, you would think that I only have to rewrite one more and I’ll be back where I was before.

Not so, it seems. As I’ve noted, I’m writing the story I have now rather than rewriting the story I had then. In the time while I was trying (and failing) to recover the lost files, I continued to make notes for the rest of the story. What I’m finding is that I can see much better what the story has to do and how these earlier chapters need to serve it, and thus I’m writing “different” chapters.

What I tried to do in one chapter before is now going to take two chapters. It turns out that the first half of the old Chapter Six is really important for later in the story, and I decided to develop it in greater detail so the reader will have a reference for what is going on when I revisit the matter later. Thus it becomes its own chapter, and what would have been the second half of the old Chapter Six will now be its own chapter. (And then comes what was the old Chapter Seven.)

When I started writing this novel, I knew the basic plot and resolution, I knew the characters I needed, and I certainly knew the tone I intended to achieve. I started down the writing road with confidence. Now I find myself going back to early chapters to insert this or that point that has only recently come to me. None of the basics is changed, but little references and bits of foreshadowing or parallelling are coming to light.

When I write the final words of the final chapter, I know that I’m going to need to go word by word from the very beginning to make sure the story I wrote at the start becomes the story I have at the finish.

Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts, Sleep of Reason

One Comment on “Chapter Six redux”

  1. Pete Says:

    Sorry to hear about your lost chapters – yet another reminder for all of us writers to back up our work to external storage on a regular basis. That’s one reason I’m tempted to keep writing my first drafts by hand.

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